DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — The Dawson Creek Chamber of Commerce has helped relaunch Citizens on Patrol, which is currently looking for volunteers.
John Vetter, a director of the South Peace and District Crime Prevention Association, said the association is the “umbrella group” of COP and the Dawson Creek and District Rural Crime Watch.
Vetter said COP has been in the area since the mid-eighties, starting out as a vandalism watch before a name change.
“[COP] is basically a program for people to volunteer, and they become extra eyes and ears for the police,” Vetter explained.
“They go out later in the evenings, two people per car, and they drive around the community, and if there’s anything that the police should be aware of, then they report it.”
He said the program stayed steady until approximately 2006 or 2007 when membership started to decrease.
Vetter said there’s at least a perception of increased property crime, so the South Peace Crime Prevention Association thought it might be a good time to make the public aware of them and the programs they run.
The chamber’s executive director, Kathleen Connolly, “worked magic” and got sponsors for the kits needed for the COP program, according to Vetter.
Now, the association is looking for volunteers for the COP program and aiming to hold a training session in December.
“The training is basically to say you stay in your car, you don’t get out of the vehicle. If you don’t feel comfortable with the situation, then you have to back off,” Vetter explained.
“You’re only there as eyes and ears, and you relay whatever you’ve come across to the detachment.”
According to the South Peace Crime Prevention Association, volunteers must be 19 years old or older, a Dawson Creek Resident, complete a criminal record and enhanced security clearance check, and successfully complete the training for COP.
For more information on volunteering, Garth Makepeace can be reached at 250-782-7188.
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